I'm leading the way to Alzheimer's first survivor by participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
I am "walking" (using my Zinger Chair) to honor my sister Connie who has been affected with Alzheimer's for more than 15 years and my cousin Chris' husband Dick who died from this horrific disease several years ago.
There is nothing funny about this insidious disease; but, there are funny incidents. I called Connie on her Birthday. After she finally figured out who I was she said: "Well if you are my brother you would know MY MOTHER told me not to talk to strangers," Then she hung up on me. The Memory Care Facility called me right back and put Connie back on the phone. She asked "Are you the man I just hung up on?" I said "Yes". She said "GOOD" and hung up again.
Another funny story, Connie's daughter Robin took Connie shopping. Robin said "Mom come wIth me I need to use the restroom." Connie replied "No, I do not have to go."
Robin told Connie to sit on the bench outside the restroom. When she came ouT Connie was gone, Robin panicked and began running up and down the isles looking for her. She went to Customer Service and they made an announcement describing Connie.
A few minutes later someone found her getting ready to leave the store. They took her to Customer Service where Connie began to get upset and said "My friend who got me here is lost and I cannot find her". Apparently in a loud and agitated voice.
Customer service made an announcement saying "Will the Lady who misplaced her mother please come to Customer Service--we have your mother. WILL THE LADY WHO MISPLACED HER MOTHER COME TO CUSTOMER SERVICE IMMEDIATELY--WE HAVE YOUR MOTHER, PLEASE HURRY!"
Although there is some humor in the above situation. It could have turned out with a different ending. Had Connie made it out of the store there are a lot of things that could have happened: Totally lost, getting into traffic and being injured and so many more.
After 2 back surgeries and bi-lateral foot-drop I am using a Mobility Assistance Device (like a wheel chair). I will use that for any "walking" I do this year. It is my plan to get out of the wheelchair and walk the last 15-25 yards using a walker--something that is not easy for me at this time.
This year, due to COVID 19 there may not be the big walk in October. If there is I plan to do it. In the mean time if you walk with friends or family make a sign that says: "WALK TO END ALZHEIMDER'S--TEAM CHARLIE PARKER" Then take a picture of your group and we will try to get it posted on OUR TEAM page.
We wanted to do a short walk on 7/25/2020--but it was quite hot and everyone (especially the Great-Grand Children)wanted to Honor Connie by swimming instead of walking that day.
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